NBA: Nuggets turn back Thunder's comeback bid | Inquirer Sports
NBA

NBA: Nuggets turn back Thunder’s comeback bid

/ 01:57 PM March 27, 2022
Nikola Jokic Nuggets NBA

Tre Mann #23 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes to the basket against Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on March 02, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic had 35 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Aaron Gordon added 20 points and nine rebounds, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-107 on Saturday night.

Will Barton scored 18 points for the Nuggets (44-31), who earned a split of the four-game season series with Oklahoma City.

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Theo Maledon scored 20 points, Aleksej Pokusevski finished with 17, Tre Mann added 15, Lindy Waters III 14, Isaiah Roby 12 and Aaron Wiggins 10 for the Thunder (21-53).

Oklahoma City tied it at 97 on Maledon’s bank shot midway through the fourth, and Pokusevski scored on a goaltending call with 2:51 left to put the Thunder in front 105-103.

Jokic’s floater and two Gordon free throws put Denver back in front, and Monte Morris hit a 3-pointer with 47.8 seconds left to make it 110-105.

Maledon made two free throws, but Jokic’s three-point play with 23.3 seconds left sealed the win.

Denver took the lead early in the first quarter and went ahead by as much as nine before taking a 32-25 advantage into the second quarter.

The Nuggets went on an 8-0 run on their way to pushing their lead to 58-42 with 1:08 left in the second quarter. However, Pokusevski hit a 3-pointer and Mann was fouled while sinking another 3-pointer and hit the free throw for a quick seven points to end the half.

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Oklahoma City went on an 11-2 run early in the third quarter to pull within 62-60, but Denver responded. Jokic converted a three-point play, Barton made a coast-to-coast layup and Gordon hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to eight.

Later in the quarter Jeff Green’s putback tip made it 76-66, and the Nuggets went ahead 85-70 on a floater by Jokic. They led 87-76 heading into the fourth.

Bones Hyland started the final quarter with two free throws for the Nuggets, but the Thunder rallied. Wiggins, Pokusevski and Mann hit 3-pointers in less than two minutes to cut the deficit to 91-88 and prompt a Denver timeout. The Nuggets went back up by five, setting up the close finish.

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TAGS: Denver Nuggets, NBA, Nikola Jokic
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